A British Columbia man has been fined $10,000 and banned from hunting for three years for illegally shooting a moose.
The incident occurred in November, 2017 near Beaverdell, in the province’s interior. The B.C. Conservation Officer Service responded to a call the hunter made himself after shooting a bull moose while not in season.
“The moose was left alive and partially paralyzed,” conservation officers said. “The male self-reported shooting the moose 27 hours later but did not report that it was still alive. Conservation Officers attended and found the moose had succumbed to its injuries but evidence at the scene indicated the moose had struggled extensively and suffered prior to its death.”
Marius Vasile, 55, of Surrey, B.C. was convicted in Kelowna last week of killing wildlife out of season, failing to report the location of killed wildlife, and failing to retrieve wildlife.
Castanet news reported Vasile took the shot even though he didn’t know precisely what he was shooting. And, he left and returned to the scene with another hunter, saw that it was still alive, but only reported the incident at the urging of fellow hunters many hours later.
Castanet reported Vasile told court he was “honestly, really sorry.”
“He panicked at the thought of ‘I’ve killed something that is not in season’ and everything went downhill from there,” defence lawyer Bryan Fitzpatrick told court, according to Castanet. “It was a mistake, negligence and, yes, it was compounded by not following the principles from the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education.”
The provincial wildlife veterinarian told the court the “degree of unnecessary pain and suffering this moose endured was severe and for an extended period of time.”
The animal could have been humanely killed if officials were notified more quickly.
Of the fine, $8,500 will be directed to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
Vasile must also give up his firearms.
Main photo Conservation Officer Service/Facebook